Certificate 15, 101 minutes
Director: Rob Cohen
Stars: Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox and Rachel Nichols
Alex Cross starts Tyler Perry as police lieutenant Dr Alex Cross, the hero of author James Patterson's books and a trained psychologist and profiler. In this film Cross and his partner and friend Tommy Kane (Edward Burns) are up against a hitman referred to as "Picasso" (Matthew Fox), who is extremely skilful, a meticulous planner, highly dangerous and very, very disturbed and who very much enjoys inflicting pain during his work.
Cross and Kane first come across Picasso's work at a crime scene with four victims, one of which has been tortured to death - something Picasso took pleasure in. Fortunately, most of the violence is off screen. Their interference in Picasso's work results in him taking it a bit more personally than a professional killer really should. The rest of the film revolves around them trying to catch Picasso and stop him from killing anyone else.
One significant difference in the setting for Alex Cross is that, for some reason, Cross is a detective in the Detroit PD rather than the Washington PD he was in the books before joining the FBI - during the film he is considering taking a job offer from the FBI to work for them full time rather than as an occasional consultant as he is currently doing.
In the film, Alex Cross is portrayed as rather more of an action hero than his typical portrayal in the books, in which he is more of a thinker than anything else. His weapon is his intellect, and he uses it very well in the books. In Alex Cross, there are just a few references to his skills and they aren't really made use of. Cross does in fact come over as not actually being that good at his job, considering how good he is supposed to be at profiling people. Rather than use his mind, he mostly runs around with a gun. The performance of Matthew Fox is by far the best bit of the film as the disturbing and more than a little unbalanced Picasso.
The camera work during the fight sequences is deliberately shaky and blurred; this doesn't add anything to the film and actually detracts from it in parts, possibly because viewing that camera work on the big screen was a bit disorienting.
This is not the first time Alex Cross has appeared in film; he was played by Morgan Freeman in Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. This latest film, Alex Cross, is a rather bland and unimaginative adaptation of the complex character in the books, which relegates Cross to the role of a more generic police action hero; perhaps this will be different if the planned sequel is done. 2.5/5.
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(price as of Oct 10, 2013)